Wildcats edge Liverpool in epic sectional final

Connor Khammar only had a second to get his shot off - not enough time, to be sure, to think about the history that lay on his stick.

But when Khammar fired from the point, and the ball crashed into the net, a remarkable streak was preserved as the West Genesee boys lacrosse team outlasted a strong challenge from Liverpool for a 7-6, triple-overtime victory and its 10th consecutive Section III Class A championship Saturday night at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium.

Head coach Mike Messere has seen plenty of great moments in his long tenure, but as he pointed out, not since the 1998 state final against Ward Melville had the Wildcats gone through a triple-overtime post-season contest.

It almost didn't get that far here, either. WG had the ball at the end of regulation and thought it had scored the game-winner as time ran out, but it was ruled that the ball had not reached the net when the horn sounded.

Messere told his players, before the overtime started, to stay patient. That patience was sorely tested as, through two full four-minute extra periods, it held the ball most of the time, yet could not put a shot past Liverpool's sophomore goalie, Dominick Madonna.

As the third OT started, though, Matt Schattner won his second straight face-off, and again WG worked the ball around against the Warriors' packed-in zone defense, which had caused so much trouble all night.

The ball worked around to Khammar. To this point, he said, he had only taken three shots, twice missing the net and hitting the post on another because he had hurried those attempts.

"This time, I had a second to shoot, and I took a little bit off my shot," he said.

And that patient, slightly altered shot eluded Madonna, giving WG yet another championship to add to its long list of accomplishments. It also managed to pull off the feat of winning both of its last two sectional Class A playoff games on consecutive days.

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